“Wakanda Forever” wows

Aaron Waldman, Sports Editor

Marvel’s newest movie, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” is not one to miss, as it is emotionally poignant yet action-filled at the same time. The movie successfully brings the viewer back to a beloved place, Wakanda, in an effective and unique way. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” features various cultures and perspectives, giving a strong voice to minority groups. 

The fictional African country Wakanda is a special city with a blend of a rich, vibrant culture and world-class technology. In the first “Black Panther” movie, we learn about Wakanda’s prized possession: an indestructible metal called Vibranium. This coveted resource is the trademark of Wakanda, making them a powerful and distinct nation. 

In “Wakanda Forever,” there is a global conflict where foreign nations will go to great lengths to attain Vibranium because it has the capacity to change warfare. Simultaneously, personal conflicts arise within the royal family as they struggle with the death of their former king T’Challa, the main character of the original movie.  

The Vibranium conflict sets up the antagonistic nation of Talocan, an underwater civilization with roots in Mayan culture. Talocan is unknown to the surface world and they are one of the largest threats to Wakanda and their supply of Vibranium. However, the personal challenges of Wakanda stem directly from the challenges faced in the real world by the cast and crew in the real world.

In August 2020, the actor who played T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman, passed away from colon cancer. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is the perfect tribute to both Boseman’s and T’Challa’s lives. In order to achieve this noble goal, the movie includes clips of the actor in silence, along with a tribute funeral for the character.

The movie succeeded in combining multiple culturally significant ideas into one sitting: a tribute to Boseman’s life, the representation of Latin American cultures with Talocan and the representation of African cultures through Wakanda. The crew were able to accomplish this through amazing costume design, a top-tier soundtrack headlined by Rihanna, top notch visual effects and honor and respect for the cultures represented in the movie. 

A major theme presented in the movie is racism in the international community. We see the United Nations (U.N.) look down on Wakanda and not take them seriously because of their negative perceptions of African nations. The more Western nations of the U.N. want Wakanda’s resources, going to great lengths to search for Vibranium even after Wakanda has told them not to. This is reflective of white nations’ superiority complexes that are present in the real world. We see this appear in terms of colonization and imperialism as the U.N. abuses Wakanda for 

their resources.

Even though the movie was two hours and 41 minutes long, the time was filled well, as it only focused on the necessary components and was not tangential with subplots. “Wakanda Forever” introduced new and exciting characters to the Marvel world, and, most importantly, it resolved the question of who the new “Black Panther” would be with T’Challa gone.

“Wakanda Forever” kept me on my toes the whole time because of incredible character development and plot twists in the nation of Wakanda. While it was not as well done as the original “Black Panther” because the world of Wakanda wasn’t new to us, I still highly recommend watching it.